Former Home Secretary Jack Straw said Sir Keir Starmer was a potential “big winner” today after a poll showed voters feel he is a clean break from Jeremy Corbyn.
A third of the public rate the new Labour leader as similar to former Prime Minister Tony Blair – compared to just eight per cent who think he is like Mr Corbyn, according to a YouGov poll for Sky News.
It comes as Sir Keir reached his first 100 days as leader of the opposition.
The poll also found that Sir Keir was more likely to be compared to former Conservative prime ministers David Cameron and Theresa May than left-winger Mr Corbyn who led Labour to its worst defeat in decades in December.
Mr Straw, who also served as Foreign Secretary, said Sir Keir had shifted the party away from “the swamp” and put Labour on a more “sensible” path.
He said Sir Keir was sorting out the party organisation and throwing out those who presided over anti-Semitism and those he claimed had tried to turn Labour into “a narrow sect”.
Mr Straw described what Sir Keir had achieved in his first few months as “remarkable” and that he was a “potential big winner”.
He told Sky: “Jeremy Corbyn was driving the Labour Party into a brick wall and to sure electoral defeat.
“It was an approach that was going nowhere and couldn’t possibly gain traction by the British people and moreover it was deeply offending and insulting a very significant proportion of the British people who are of the Jewish faith – which is terrible.”
In Sir Keir’s first 100 days he has replaced the powerful general secretary with a more centrist figure, cracked down on anti-Semitism and fired his former leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey from the shadow cabinet.
However, some 40 per cent of voters are yet to make their mind up about him and he faces a huge electoral challenge in the “Red Wall” seats which turned to Conservative at the last election - many for the first time.
John McTernan, former senior adviser of Mr Blair, added: “There are similarities: north London, lawyers, a confidence about themselves.
“But the real thing that I think voters see in Keir Starmer is a man who could be a Prime Minister.
“They never thought that for a second about Jeremy Corbyn, they never thought that for a second about Ed Miliband.”